By: Deacon Norbert Gaudet
Before his death, Jesus reveals to the Apostles the coming of another divine person, the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) - one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Pentecost Sunday celebrates where Jesus appears again to his disciples saying "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you". After saying this, he breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 21:21-22).
What does the Holy Spirit do in people's lives? It helps spread the gifts of peace and joy which are available to everyone. As Dinah Simmons of Halifax said "The Apostles spoke a universal language of love, peace, forgiveness, hope...the story of God's mighty deeds...the call to discipleship, to a life of love and self-giving. This call could be heard and understood by everyone: a call into a relationship, with Christ and with one another".
Don't worry that you can't remember all of what Jesus said and taught his disciples. Jesus said to his disciples "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you" (John 14:26). There are several instances in the Gospel where disciples are said to remember episodes in Jesus' ministry after his glorification (John 2:17, 22, 12:16). These weren't a recollection of the past but rather a deeper understanding of Jesus' ministry.
Some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit brings are:
Wisdom: The ups and downs of our lives take on a deeper meaning, we're able to see God in everyone, everything and everywhere.
Understanding: We are not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Counsel: Knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.
Fortitude: Willingness to stand up for what is right in the sight of God.
Knowledge: Understanding the meaning of God.
Reverence: Recognition of our total reliance on God and come before God with humility, trust, and love.
Wonder and Awe: Awareness of the glory and majesty of God.
We need to be in relationship with God in our daily activities to access these gifts through the Spirit. Many say and teach things that are different than what Jesus said and taught. We need these gifts to keep things straight in our minds.
The Holy Spirit is always working to guide us. As I reflect on my past, I can see how the Holy Spirit has guided me through some major decisions in my life. We will always have worries in our lives, but like Jesus told his disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid" (John 14:17).
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